Snug Harbor Cultural Center
This monumental bronze sculpture nestled in the northwestern corner of Snug Harbor Cultural Center depicts Robert Richard Randall (died 1801). Randall founded Sailors Snug Harbor, the home for retired seamen located along the north shore of Staten Island near the ferry terminal. The original statue of Randall, sculpted by master sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) was dedicated in 1884 in the northwestern corner of the site. The statue seen at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center is a cast of the original, which was moved to North Carolina in 1982.
Sailors Snug Harbor was founded in 1801 after Randall’s will specified that his Manhattan estate be used to start a marine hospital for “aged, decrepit and worn-out seamen.” The name Sailors Snug Harbor was suggested by Randall himself. At the time of Randall’s death, his estate, located north and east of modern-day Washington Square, was in a rural part of Manhattan. By the time a protracted challenge to his will was settled, the land around the estate had changed dramatically, with the area having been developed. Opting instead to maximize profits on the Manhattan property, Snug Harbor’s trustees relocated the proposed site to Staten Island, buying property around the harbor in 1831.
In the early 1970s Snug Harbor had become dilapidated and economically nonviable and the Trustees of Snug Harbor announced that they would move the home to North Carolina. The first of the parcels were sold to the City in 1972 and after the remaining sailors left for North Carolina it was feared that the statue of Randall would follow. Local officials decided to turn the site into an arts center. In 1976 the Snug Harbor Cultural Center opened. At that time the Trustees signed a long-term loan agreement to keep the statue in Staten Island. In 1982, however, the Trustees decided to move the original to North Carolina, and arranged for a cast to remain on site.
Other Saint-Gaudens works in New York City parks include the Admiral Farragut statue (1881) in Madison Square Park, and the Henry Maxwell (original cast 1903) medallion portrait in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, and the Sherman Monument (1903) in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza.
Robert Richard Randall Details
- Sculptor: Augustus St. Gaudens
- Description: Statue on pedestal; this is a replica of St. Gauden's original, which was moved to North Carolina with the relocation of the Sailors' Home.
- Materials: Bronze, granite
- Dedicated: 1884
- Foundry: Beaureau Brothers, Philadelphia (original) Johnson Atelier, Princeton, NJ (replica)
- Donor: Trustees of Snug Harbor
- Inscription: (top front of base):
ROBERT RICHARD / RANDALL / DIED-1801 /
(signed on base):
AVGVSTVS SAINT / GAUDENS SCVLPTOR / NEW-YORK MDCCCLXXXVIII / BEAUREAU BROTHERS FOUNDERS /
ROBERT RICHARD RANDALL / (space) / THIS BRONZE STATUE, CAST IN 1983, FROM THE ORIGINAL (1883) BY / AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS, REPRESENTS ROBERT RICHARD RANDALL / (1750-1801) BENEFACTOR OF SAILORS SNUG HARBOR. THE ORIGINAL IS NOW IN SEA LEVEL, NORTH CAROLINA. / (space) / THIS REPLICA IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM / MANY FRIENDS OF SNUG HARBOR TO COMMEMORATE THE 150TH / ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST SEAMEN TO MAKE THEIR / HOME HERE. SNUG HARBOR RECOGNIZES THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR / SPECIAL GIFTS FOR THE RANDALL STATUE FUND: / (space) / MR. & MRS. JACK FRIEDLAND / (space) / PEAT MARWICK MITCHELL N.Y. FOUNDATION / (space) / MR. & MRS. ALLAN PROSKE / (space) / THE STANLEY TIMOLAT FOUNDATION / (space) / MRS. PETER J. TIMPONE JR. /
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